This past January veteran Montreal restaurateur Carlos Ferreira told Le Journal de Montréal that he had lost faith in the free market. "We have to protect the good restaurants. Even I'm in danger if we do nothing. There's always a trendy new restaurant that hurts my business but ultimately closes after a few months. It's enough!" Ferreira went on to slam cooks "who watch food television and get tattoos before they open restaurants. Sometimes I hope for a financial crisis to clean up this industry."
The owner of Café Ferreira has to feel more sanguine now than he did a few months ago. His upscale Portuguese restaurant was the subject of a blockbuster rave in the Gazette from critic Lesley Chesterman yesterday. This is the first write-up for the standby on Peel since the departure of chef Marino Tavares (now at MKT on Metcalfe). Improbably, after "a dozen [visits] over the past 19 years" the 20-year-old institution is better than ever, reports Chesterman. "Ferreira has evolved from an ambitious restaurant with something to prove, to a thoroughly confident restaurant whose aspirations and expectations have been met. Coming up on 20 years in the restaurant game, Ferreira is one of but a handful of eating establishments in our city that really nails modern fine dining." Verdict: a very rare three and a half stars on four.